Monday, March 16, 2009

Deja vu from a Muslim sermon

When I was a child, family devotions was a daily ritual in our house.  My father, who has most of the New Testament committed to memory (Seriously!) was really big on memorization.  In addition to scripture memory he sometimes had us memorize poems -- like this one for example.  Another of the poems I remember learning was called "If Jesus Came to Your House." Click  here to read the text.

Last Friday I was riding around in my new STL car listening to a Muslim sermon on a local Albanian radio station.  Preaching just as passionately as any Pentecostal I've heard, the imam posed a strangely familiar question: "What would you do if Muhammad came to your house?" Although this version wasn't delivered in rhyming couplets, the similarities were almost too striking to be coincidental. 

"Would you put away your worldy magazines and blow the dust off the Qu'ran?" the imam asked.

Would you hide the alcohol?

Would you switch off the soap operas?

Would you turn off the techno music? (At this point in the sermon I turned to the young Albanian riding with me.  "So Muhammad doesn't like techno?"  "Apparently not," he chuckled.)

Would you change your modern European clothes?"

Both the Christian and Muslim versions seemed to reflect a fairly shallow spirituality.  But to give credit where credit is due the Muslim version at least gave a nod to social justice, challenging the listener to consider whether he would help the poor neighbor that he had heretofore ignored. I looked back at the text just to make sure, but the Christian version is sadly lacking any reference to loving the neighbor.

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Very thought provoking.